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reagan, people forget, before the debate, ronald reagan was painted as this looney, right-wing fanatic that would start world war iii, dr. strangelove, and it was the debate that stuck a needle in that balloon. >> i remember it well. >> not even born yet. i mean, this is romney's chance. >> sure. >> to connect with the american people. >> to pick up on mike's point, fascinating number from the poll is this. 51% of people who said they had heard or read something about romney in the last couple weeks said what they had heard or read made them think more negatively about him. more positively, that number was 48%. they've heard him going into this debate. this provides them a chance to say, listen, that guy you saw in the video, that's not me. i'm a different type of person. he can reset in that sense. i'm sort of with al on this. i spent a lot of time over the past week watching all of romney's debates from 2002. i watched every single debate. there were five of them. i read hundreds of clips in 2002. he was against a democrat. >> you really should get a life. >> i know, it's pathetic. >
michael dukakis. you really do have to go back to ronald reagan to find a republican that was in command during a presidential debate. and i predict that's going to excite the republican base in a way it hasn't been excited in a very long time. we're not used to winning debates like this. >> right. >> i'd even -- i think you're exactly right. and i'd push back even farther. he was better than nixon. and he was better than ford. so you could argue, except for president reagan, governor reagan then, it was, in fact, the strongest republican debate performance in the history of televised debates. the other thing that i find so interesting -- and joe, i wonder what you think about this -- is this was not a tea party message. one of the reasons perhaps governor romney did so well is that this might actually be the real governor romney at last. >> yep. >> and it was a very -- people could take me on on this, i would argue that was a mainstream conservative message that could have been largely unchanged except for the tales from 1980 forward. and that is something that's very different.
all the time. i talked about tip o'neill and ronald reagan of the 1980s. didn't see eye to eye. they got things done. '90s you and bill clinton. a fascinating character. you guys obviously didn't see eye to eye. you got things done. and bill clinton is having a huge impact in this race. rich lowry of course of the national review said if you want to see when this election turned it was in the middle of bill clinton's speech. this guy still -- you said something about georgia ads. what was that? >> i was told last night by randy evans who is the national committeeman from georgia that there are more ads in georgia for obama with clinton in them than there are with obama in them. which makes sense. you know, bill clinton is the best political figure in terms of skill since ronald reagan. >> right. >> that's just a fact. >> right. >> and his ability to communicate, i thought his speech, which i had to watch, i actually didn't watch the obama speech. >> right. >> i watched the clinton speech. i thought it would be more creative, more interesting. and it turned out to be a lot more import
, ronald reagan ran for president in 1984 said i want to do tax reform. he didn't have a plan, he came up with his plan and passed it two years later. >> there are a fair number of specifics out from both candidates. we're trying to parch them or compare them. >> well, some people in the media. there's a lot of media. and so different people do different things. i think there's more policy analysis available to people in all of the iterations of media. >> i think this would be the best platform for debate. do we have chuck yet, alex? >> he's not -- >> oh, good. new polls out from quinnipiac university show president obama with a narrow lead heading into wednesday's debate. president obama leading 49% among likely voters. but when it comes to women, president obama has stretched a lead to 18 points, 56% to 38%. the gap tightens when it comes to which candidate would better handle the economy, just one point separates them. when asked who would win tomorrow night's debate, the president nearly doubles mitt romney 54% to 28%. that doesn't mean anything. with us from denver, host of "the d
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